Police surveillance, public tips and suspects’ relatives all came into play Friday night as four suspects in a brutal assault case at a village bar were rounded up within a four-hour period.
Charles R. Mullin, 31, Robert Dixon, 32, Dennis W. Ford III, 26, and his younger brother Richard J. Ford, 21, face a felony charge of first-degree gang assault after the Jan. 31 altercation at Crossway’s Tavern on East Clark Street, according to Ilion police and local U.S. marshals.
The victim suffered numerous upper-body injuries, mainly from being kicked by the suspects, Ilion police Capt. Laurie DeVaul said. “He has a long way to go,” she said of the victim’s recovery. “He had very serious face and head injuries.”
DeVaul said media website posts played a major role in apprehending the suspects, as it resulted in tips from the public as well as the suspects’ relatives getting involved.
Here’s a breakdown of where and how each of the four suspects were caught as well as their criminal histories, according to Ilion police and marshals:
6:44 p.m.: Robert Dixon, of West North Street, Ilion, was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped on Barringer Road in Ilion after it left Colonial Manor. Authorities had set up surveillance around the manor after receiving tips Dixon was there. The driver did not know Dixon was wanted and does not face any charges.
Dixon’s criminal history: Rape, forcible touching, sexual abuse, assault, weapons offenses, escape, obstruction of government administration. He is a registered sex offender.
7:09 p.m.: Richard Ford, of West Street, was taken into custody at his residence on West Street in Ilion.
Ford’s criminal history: Assault, larceny, obstruction of governmental administration
10:37 P.M.: Dennis Ford III, who lives with his co-defendant brother, surrendered in Horseshoe Trailer Park in Mohawk along with Charles Mullin of East North Street, Ilion. Family members were involved in the surrender process.
Ford’s criminal history: Rape, sexual misconduct, larceny, weapons offenses, menacing. He is a registered sex offender.
Mullin’s criminal history: Rape, robbery, weapons offenses. He also is a registered sex offender.
All of the suspects were taken into custody without incident, DeVaul said.
They were arraigned in Ilion Village Court and sent to Herkimer County jail without bail, except for Richard Ford, who is being held on $75,000 cash bail or $150,000 bail bond. Their next court appearance is 5 p.m. Thursday, March 14.
DeVaul said the team effort among law enforcement was “tremendous.” In addition to Ilion police, the U.S. Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force and state police were involved, as well as the Herkimer County District Attorney’s Office.